When Your Yes Becomes a No

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“Yes, Lord!”

For about a month, this was a phrase that I was uttering with overwhelming enthusiasm. Whenever I would pray, there was this resounding ‘yes’ in my spirit. Even when I was praying for things I didn’t want to pray for, I would still find myself saying ‘yes’, as if it were an automatic reaction.

This phrase of agreement and obedience was transcribed on my heart; it was the song of my season and a celebration of victory.

But then the ‘yes’ turned to ‘no’.

God: You need to go to Celebrate Recovery.

Me: “No, God. Why would I do that? You’ve healed me a lot. I’m fine.

God: You need to go to Celebrate Recovery.

Me: “I mean, I would, but there’s not a meeting at my church. I can’t go.”

God: Sarah. You need to go to Celebrate Recovery.

Me: “Ugh! Fine, I’ll go.”

This conversation and my overwhelming disobedience spanned about three months, followed by two months of lackluster, halfhearted obedience.

My excitement and willingness to obey God was quickly replaced when I thought that I knew better. When my pride was on the line and I had to do something out of my comfort zone, I no longer was eager to say ‘yes, Lord’. Instead, I flat out refused.

Have you ever experienced something like this?

Thank God that he is so patient with us!

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17 (NIV)

What I began to realize, during my disobedience, is that I preached about the character of God, I knew the truth about who he is, but I didn’t live like I believed it.

[Tweet “I knew the truth about who God is, but I didn’t live like I believed it. -@sarahjcallen”]

If God is good, he won’t ask me to do things that will harm me.
If God is kind, his thoughts toward me are benevolent.
If God is freedom, he doesn’t want me to be enslaved.
If God is love, he doesn’t want me to be filled with hate.
If God is my father, he wants to conform me to his likeness.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV)

These are the verses that have been rumbling around in my mind and heart for the past few months. There is so much in this season that I absolutely do not understand, but his thoughts aren’t my thoughts. His ways aren’t my ways. He is infinitely smarter and wiser than me. His character is so much better than I could ever hope to understand so, in the meantime, when all I want to do is stomp my feet and declare an emphatic ‘no’, I’m choosing to softly utter a ‘yes’.  Yes Lord

Choosing Yes

I’ve been going to Celebrate Recovery for four months now and, honestly, I have to say that I’m glad that I obeyed. It’s not easy, I don’t like it, and 90% of the time I don’t want to do the work, but I can see how this season of obedience and recovery is setting me up for the future.

More than that, I’ve been able to talk with so many friends of mine about their own mental and emotional health in the past few months. We’ve been able to openly and honestly discuss where we’re at and encourage each other as we each seek the Lord. And what’s so interesting is each of our seasons look different, but we’re all having to put down that desire to say ‘no’ and take up the ‘yes’ by faith.

If he’s been asking you to do something you don’t want to do, I get that and I’m right there with you. But my question for you is: are you willing to say ‘yes’ to him? Is his character, his infinite goodness and his everlasting love, enough to challenge you to take a step?

I encourage you, even if it’s painful, uncomfortable, or a huge blow to your pride, to take a step and say ‘yes’ to him today. And when you do, know that we’ll all be here cheering you on!


Sarah is an entrepreneur and published author, currently living in Dallas, Texas. Her dreams include founding businesses, giving strategically, and sharing art with the world. And her life motto is: Every number has a name, every name has a story, and every story is worthy of being shared.

You can find more of her writing on her blog or connect with her on social media.